Whether your company sells widgets or the ads that advertise the widgets, your team could always use a little more creativity. These are rocky economic times, and every company could use a few more free thinkers.
But where do you start? How do you get rid of the mentality that says, “business and creativity” don’t mix? Relax, fostering creativity in the boardroom doesn’t mean you don’t have to start drum circles or hiring a local hypnotist for the meeting. There are actually three simple techniques you can introduce to get the ball rolling.
1. Team up. Drum circle jokes aside, getting people together in a group to brainstorm a product launch or an ad campaign is not a bad idea. Group thinking fosters competition within the group, which promotes innovation as individuals trying to improve original ideas.
If you can, try not to set time limits; time pressure tends to limit ideas. Also, make it fun. Make it clear they can think as far outside the box as they want, and if the group approves the idea, there will be no repercussions for any idea that flops. Then, step out of the room and leave them alone. Being the boss, you’ll just be a distraction.
2. Clarify the goals of the company for the year. Write them in an email, put them in a memo, announce them at the next staff meeting, or make a banner and hang it in the office. Just make sure everyone knows what the goals are. There’s nothing like a little glimpse of the mountaintop to get your employees fired up and thinking about how they’re going to get there.
3. Last, but not least, celebrate creativity, don’t stifle it. Create a rewards program of some sort if you have to. You’ll be surprised to find out who really loves working at the company, and not just for a paycheck.